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Why I no longer manage Babalu

I have been asked why I no longer manage Babalu.

Before I explain what happened, I feel I should let people know that I co-managed Babalu. My partner and I also represent Robert Emerson, Wander Braga and Debi Purcell, so we are still in the business.

When we began managing Babalu, he was here in the States. He was coming off of a loss to Chuck Liddell and had finished his UFC contract. We got him signed to the big IFC Light Heavyweight tournament, and he went home to Brazil to train.

Back in Brazil, Babalu found a good sponsor. After the Babalu’s win in the IFC tournament, the sponsor wanted him to join the newly formed Gracie Barra fight team. Part of the deal with the team is that all the fighters have to be managed by the official team manager. Babalu did not want to lose the sponsorship or the opportunity, and we did not want to stand in his way, so that was that.

The timing was unfortunate, too. After his big IFC victory, and as the change in fight teams and management was happening, the U.S. representatives for Pride told me that they wanted to sign Babalu for one of their upcoming shows (we talked about both Pride and Bushido). I would have loved to have been able to finish that deal.

We had also put together a deal for Babalu to headline a big show in Brazil, and we were just waiting for the promoter to finalize the venue and send us a contract.

I think we left Babalu in a much stronger position than we found him, and I am proud of the work we did for him. Hopefully, his new management can pick up where we left off.

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